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9 days to watch
734 Ratings


Directed by Marco Bellocchio
Italy, France, 2009
Biography, Drama, Romance
  • Italian
  • English


Vincere presents Mussolini’s rise to power through a fictional retelling of his seduction and catastrophically violent betrayal of his reputed first wife, Ida Dalser, and their son. Like much of Italy, Dalser abandoned herself to him body and soul.

Our take

Italian filmmaker Marco Bellochio provides a double biopic of sorts with his vigorous and dazzling Vincere, which dives deep into modern Italian history to unveil secrets of Mussolini’s personal life. Winner of Best Director, Cinematography, Actress and Actor at the Chicago Film Festival!

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VINCERE suggests the fatuous historical dramas that usually sweep the Academy Awards; in execution, it may be the most tantalizing film of Bellocchio’s venerable career. The first half has a pulsating momentum that’s all but irresistible: This is the sort of filmmaking that bypasses the eyes and ears and goes straight for the central nervous system.
April 02, 2010
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Less a biography on the early life of Fascist leader Benito Mussolini than a dissection into creating (and sustaining) a cult of personality, Marco Bellocchio’s Vincere is a textured, operatic, and incisive historical fiction…
October 01, 2009
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The through line for Bellocchio is cinema itself, from an early scene in which fighting movie patrons become a sort of living newsreel, to the many archival film clips and propaganda slogans ingeniously worked into the body of the film. The history of 20th-century Italy emerges as a kind of grandly cinematic delusion, and Vincere as a timely cautionary tale about despots who fancy themselves media barons — and vice versa.
May 20, 2009
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